I had this craving for brownies AND pavlova over the weekend so a date was set Saturday night. Just me, my mixer and the oven.
It is such a great mash-up of my two favorite desserts: chocolatey, cakey layer topped with crisp meringue softened with softly whipped cream. The strawberries added the fresh element that paired together with both the cream and chocolate. I'm sure other berries would work well, maybe even fruits in season.
It was such an easy cake to whip up. The longest wait was spent for the cooling of the cake which is needed before the whipped cream is added. The finished cake is impressive, making others think more time and effort was spent.
I didn't realize I had ran out of berries late Saturday night so cake was assembled and enjoyed after Sunday supper. My family was happy to enjoy this with me. And my sons now call this a "just because" cake.
Chocolate Meringue Cake
adapted from The Joy of Baking
4 large egg yolks
175g AP flour
60g cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
152g butter, room temperature
130g granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
110g milk, room temperature
4 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
175g granulated sugar
480g heavy whipping cream
45g granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to325F. Prepare two 8-inch springform cake pans by oil spray and lining with parchment then spray again.
Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl, set aside.
In a mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter over medium-high speed, adding sugar a tablespoon at a time. Once added, keep mixing until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Reduce speed to medium and add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping bottom of bowl.
Reduce speed to low. Add cocoa-flour mixture in 3 batches alternating with milk and beat until just combined.
Place batter into your prepared pan. The batter will be thick, it helps to smooth out with an offset spatula, set aside.
In a clean mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg whites in medium speed with cream of tartar until frothy. Turn speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form.
Evenly divide meringue between the two pans, smoothing tops. Bake for 24-28, switching sides halfway through. Transfer in rack to cool completely.
To make the Chantilly cream, place cream, sugar and vanilla in a chilled bowl and whisk until soft peaks form.
To assemble: place one layer of cake, meringue side up on a serving plate. Spread half of the cream and add berries in an even layer. Top with second layer of cake and repeat. Best served the day it's assembled. Cake can be kept in the refrigerator for a day.